The Oyo State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed indefinitely the much awaited Local government and wards primaries of the party which were aimed to select the party flagbearer for the Local government election scheduled to hold on Saturday, May 12, 2018.
Literally, it means that the party’s primaries which were earlier scheduled to hold on Monday, February 19, will no longer hold.
Last week, the party had asked all its registered members to, on Monday, converge onwards’ headquarters across the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas to nominate their aspirants from which delegates will select candidates for Chairmanship and Councillorship seats.
However, while speaking with newsmen on Sunday, the party’s publicity secretary, Mr Olawale Sadare, said the decision of APC to shift its primaries to a yet-to-be-announced date was because the party was yet to get documents relating to the new delineation of wards from the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
He said: “It was left with no option other than postponing its intra-party election earlier scheduled for Monday, February 19, 2018, in view of the extension of a deadline for the submission of candidates’ list which the State Independent Electoral Commission announced at the weekend.”
OYSIEC had earlier revised its timetable owing to complaints by political parties and stakeholders on the issue of delineation of wards in the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas, but mandated parties to conclude their primaries by Wednesday, February 23, 2018.
He continued: “We have not cancelled the process, but fillers from OYSIEC indicate that they have again shifted the deadline given to political parties to complete the process of nomination of their candidates, that is, party primaries.
“They cited the fact that they have not given us the new outlook of wards delineation of wards. With the delineation, we will now have more than the original 351 wards.
“Parties do not have the documents regarding the delineation of wards and OYSIEC admits that it is entirely their fault. So, they are now extending the deadline to enable parties to have access to these documents so as to guide parties in the conduct of primaries.
“I’m aware we now have over 600 wards in the state and without these documents, parties may not be able to carry out the process of nominating councillorship candidates.
“If what I heard from OYSIEC this morning is anything to go by, our primaries will no longer hold tomorrow (Monday) because we do not have the documents that will enable us to do the exercise successfully.
“They have asked us to come for the documents and that will guide us. Invariably, there is no way we can hold the primaries tomorrow but we will issue a statement on when the primaries will now be held.